For this reason, I am posting Chapter 1 of All The Darkness but it is a little on the spoiler alert side if you haven't read All The Colours. So if you don't mind that, read on!
Four Years Earlier
The night I wish I could erase from existence plays on repeat, stretching my mind to its limits. I imagine my brain is an elastic band stretched out so far it's losing colour and will snap at any moment.
It should have been me.
I shouldn't be here. Free, walking around. Breathing.
I should be gone.
I should be in prison where some meathead has claimed me as his bitch.
I should be rotting six feet under the earth.
But I'm not and she is.
With her long, soft silky hair and shiny, vibrant green eyes always full of admiration and raw unashamed love for me.
Her eyes will never shine again.
I will never again have the chance to run my fingers through her hair.
Her lush lips will never curve upwards for me, ever again.
I lose my head in her sister, just for a short moment in time.
Her sister isn't her. She's beautiful. But she isn't my Stella.
Her eyes are wrong and her hair is wrong.
But I shut my eyes and grit my teeth as I drive further into her.
I slap my flesh so hard against hers it is no wonder her head hits the headboard; I don't put my hand between her head and the board. I don't even shuffle our bodies further down the bed. I would have for my Stella had I had the chance. But this isn't about caring, this isn't about love. There is nothing tender about fucking the sister of the girl you have loved since forever to try and stitch shattered hearts back together. I just want to come and get the fuck out of here. This is only the second time I've done this—one clumsy tangle of limbs before Stella was mine, this time is better physically now that I am older, though each thrust smashes more cracks on to the surface of my rotten heart.
I pack a bag and I leave. I can't stay in this town without her. Nothing makes sense without her. I don't make sense. I lose myself in the bright lights and dark alleys of Melbourne, which is of course what I want, to be invisible. That is all a piece of shit like me deserves. It's easy to be invisible in the city. Months pass in a blur of alcohol and willing women, they teach me things and I pretend they are Stella. That she is still here, that I didn't let her down. I pretend I didn't fuck her sister not all that long after I let her down. When I return home, I find the whole family is gone. Stella's mum and sister. Gone. Just like my Stella.
Kelly is there for comfort and the comfort grows into something more. Something I wasn't sure I would ever be capable of without Stella. Kelly smooths over some of the cracks etched on my black heart. But she still receives a watercolour version of what I once was.
That's all my life is; it is black without Stella. Nothing.
Black eventually gives way to grey.
Until it over time becomes peppered with water colour.
There's some spark there, but it's dull. Some colour, but watered down.
Watercolour can be pretty, but this isn't.
This is half a life.
Half a heart.
My heart is superficial.
It beats, but there is nothing inside.
Kelly stands over me now with a knife in her hand. I see the madness racking her body, making her a trembling, wild mess. My Kelly is a mad Kelly. She has something wrong with her head. She doesn't see reason, she doesn't know logic and she does not hold any morals. I can't wrap my head around why better hearts than Kelly's are still when hers still beats. She hurt Jazz—it is still something I wish I could have prevented.
If only we could see hearts when we look at people to see what is truly inside of them.
It would save us a lot of trouble; and time.
My time is running out.
Kelly is seeing to it.
"You never loved me," she growls in a voice saturated with a hate so black I have no control of the dancing my chin is partaking in. "You always loved her."
I swallow, almost choking on my tongue. Saliva has left my body. My breath is trying to flee as well. I wish I was just watercolour on a page, and then I could float out the window never to return.
"I was never good enough for you," her eyes are absent of soul. She towers over me, sucking me in to her vortex.
"You were," I rasp. "It's me who isn't good enough."
Relief floods me. I spoke the truth. For the first time since that night, truth has spilled from my lips.
Her grip on the knife slacks, her jaw pops. "What?"
I close my eyes and transport myself back.
Away from here.
Away from her.
"Give me the knife," I request calmly.
Because I am calm now. I just want to get to my Stella. I'm sick of pretending on this earth that it will ever be okay without her or that evil isn't lurking underneath my skin.
"Are you crazy?"
I chortle. Coming from her, that is funny.
"What? What's so funny?" her whiny pitch scratches at my nerves.
A sunburn beneath my skin.
"I saw who took her. I wasn't unconscious!" I shout, veins popping in my neck. My head shakes with the force of it.
"What," she expels on a breath; the knife bounces on the wood floor. I crawl to it. Her eyes widen. It's warm in my hand, yet holding it chills me. I heave myself off the floorboards.
"You didn't stop him?" she croaks, both of her hands cupping her throat, like the words burnt her on the way out.
I shake my head, my pulse thumps in time with her discomfort, dances with it.
"No. He had a cricket bat pressed against my throat. Promised he would take care of her. Winked at me. Winked." Anger is back, coursing through my blood, rushing in my ears.
An angry red sea sloshing inside.
"He's my brother," the words tear from her chest, moisture leaking from her eyes follow the words. "And he is . . . sick."
"Your fucking brother? What the fuck?"
"I loved you—always. I guess he thought he was doing me a favour. Removing Stella."
"Removing?" my voice is low, soft.
"So I could have you," her eyes bore into mine. I see the love in them but now it makes my stomach churn. I remember the knife in my hand, the one I was going to drive into my heart to end my suffering, so I could be with my Stella once again.
I place my forehead against hers; she sighs and melts into me.
Just how I want her.
I slide the knife into her skin and am surprised by the ease of it going in. I expected it to be harder than it is. I enjoy it so much I pull it out of her and back in. It's almost sensual. A new height I didn't know was possible. I do it over and over.
In and out.
In and twist.
Out and sigh.
My hands are wet, they smell metallic.
I keep going.
I keep going until I can't see for red.
Red is everywhere.
Red is for dead.
© Lo-arna Green
All The Darkness 2016